Offseason Opponent Breakdown: The Los Angeles Chargers

Check out the best shots from the Rams' preseason game against the Chargers.

The 2018 NFL Season is still a few months from its official kickoff date, but the opponents for all 32 clubs have already been set.

Aside from their divisional opponents, the Rams will face teams from the NFC North and AFC West. Plus, Los Angeles will take on the reigning division champions from the NFC East and NFC South.

In anticipation of the official schedule release date in mid-April, theRams.com will be taking an early look at each of club's opponents for next season.

THE LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

LOCATION:The Rams will host the Chargers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

HEAD COACH:Anthony Lynn is entering his second season as Chargers head coach. In his first year, Lynn led the Chargers to a 9-7 finish. He previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Bills, but has worked for a number of clubs in various capacities.

MATCHUP HISTORY:Both franchises have only met 11 times in series history. The Rams hold a slight advantage at 6-5-0, but lost the most recent contest in 2014 where a last-minute interception at the goal line preserved the Chargers' 27-24 victory.

2017 RECORD: The Chargers finished with a 9-7 overall record last season, good for second place in the AFC West.


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WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT?**

The Chargers were not shy about their desire to upgrade the kicker position in 2018. After signing Roberto Aguayo in January to join Nick Rose, the club also picked up former Eagles' kicker Caleb Sturgis. The Florida product has connected on 81 percent of his field goals over the last five seasons and should compete for a starting role next year.

Los Angeles also brought in a new backup for their longtime quarterback Philip Rivers, signing Geno Smith to a one-year deal. Appearing in two games for the Giants last season, Smith completed 21 of 36 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown. The franchise also added three-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, shoring up its offensive line.

Finally, the Chargers locked up cornerback Casey Hayward on a three-year deal, while signing a new blocking tight end in former Bronco, Virgil Green.

WHAT ABOUT THE DRAFT?

The Chargers focused on boosting their offense and special teams units this offseason through the additions of Pouncey, Smith, and Sturgis. For that reason, many mock drafts believe the club will go after a defensive player with the No. 17 overall pick. Linebacker is a popular option among many of the experts, with names like Rashaan Evans (Alabama), Roquan Smith (Georgia), and Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech) as the heavy favorites.

Outside of the secondary, several mock drafts believe a defensive lineman will also be targeted by the Chargers. Washington's Vita Vea and Michigan's Maurice Hurst are among those who might be considered.

LOOK OUT FOR:

This season will mark the first time the Rams and Chargers will face off as Los Angeles franchises. While much has been made of the presumptive "Battle for L.A." between both clubs, the 2018 season will give fans their first look at the new crosstown rivalry. Plus, the game will feature two of the league's most explosive offenses from the 2017 season.

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